John Rosemond, dear, you will have to stay in your room.

I spoke with the doctor, and he told me to tell you that you are a bitter old crank who is taking out his resentment against his own parents and stepfather on every kid today, and on every parent of a kid who is foolish enough to seek advice from you.

Your column is useless. All your answers have the same theme. Tell the kid that “the doctor” said he’s not getting enough sleep, and he has to go to bed ridiculously early for a month. Usually after stripping the room to the bare essentials. Or he has to spend a month confined to his room, except for school/church/meals. I don’t believe this advice is meant to help the child. I honestly believe the goal is to get the kid out of the parent’s sight. Your mom and stepdad regarded you as a burden, and now you want to stick it to every child today.

And you’re not even consistent. Recently, you scoffed at the idea of anti-bullying measures. It’s just part of growing up, you said. And, of course, kids today have no idea of what you had to put up with at your school. Harassment is normal, according to you. Except, when someone wrote to you about her ten y/o daughter teasing her 6 y/o sister, you labeled the 10 y/o a “junior sociopath” and recommended the usual confined-to-bare-room for “the month she will never forget.”

But! When the child becomes a teenager, and stays in their room by choice, take the door off their room. Because how dare they reject their parents. Parents are supposed to reject their kids. You’re always recommending that parents of children 10 or younger encourage their kids to stay away from them, find ways to amuse themselves, “ignore them”. But when puberty strikes, and they want to be away from their parents, which is actually a normal stage of development, you see it as insubordination. You can’t have it both ways, honeybuns. If you spend 10-12 years telling them to get out of your face, don’t condemn them as a World Class Creep when they finally choose to stay away from you.

And that’s just the boilerplate stuff. In your books, you describe these scenarios that I honestly think you got off on when you were writing them. Like “Piling On.” Or “Chair of Wisdom”. I don’t have time to link to that shit; anyone else reading this can google it. The essence is, first, be passive-aggressive. Wait until the child has forgotten the transgression, or thinks you’re not mad, then bring the hammer down. Second, maintain a tone of smug condescension. Third, bait your kid into thinking that you’re listening to him and that you care what he has to say. Then, after his anger and frustration have crested and fallen back, when he’s completely spent, tell him “You’re just not convincing enough.” Which I strongly suspect is what you got at that age. And if it made you what you are today, I think it’s a very. very. bad idea.

I don’t see how anyone could do that unless they hated their child. What it all comes down to is, take ALL the power away from the child, hold ALL the power yourself…and this is supposed to produce a productive citizen? How in the everloving fuck is an 18 year old, which is your recommended age for pushing offspring out of the nest, supposed to make good choices, when he’s never been given any choice except the ones forced on him? Anyone who could inflict the torment you recommend would have to hate their child. I could not follow your advice. I don’t have it in me. I’d hang first.

You also have a very narrow view of society. Your hypotheticals and case histories apply to the upper middle class pretty much exclusively. Take everything away from the kid? Some kids don’t have “everything” to take away. Confine him to his room? Some kids don’t have a parent at home 24/7 to enforce that. And yes, I know there are a lot, too many, twenty-somethings living with their parents these days. But citing the class of '72 living away from their parents does not impress me, because I know how many of those parents despaired that their children were living like dirty hippies. There will never be perfect harmony between parents and offspring. And it is not a desirable goal. If we did achieve it, society would not move forward.

Okay, about this doctor nonsense. I found this while doing a search.

*Q: My daughter, who is going to turn 3 next month, is going to have her tonsils and adenoids out in a few weeks. Because she is so young, they are admitting her to the hospital overnight. How should I prepare her for this? Should I explain at all prior to the event or say nothing? What would be age appropriate?

A: To answer this question, I went into a deep trance and contacted your great-great-grandmother, who told me to tell you that ‘‘age appropriate’’ is to say nothing.

The more of a buildup you give this, the more anxiety you will generate. Your daughter will not understand any attempt on your part to explain what’s going to happen, and it will scare her that she doesn’t understand. Add in that she will sense your anxiety, and you will likely have a problem where none would have existed had you channeled your great-great-granny’s common sense.

The morning of the procedure, say, ‘‘We’re going to the doctor’s today. He’s in a new office, in the hospital.’’

Remember, if you act anxious, your daughter will become anxious. They’re going to put her under, right?

In which case she will wake up with a sore throat, and you can announce that she has won the ‘‘ice cream for a week’’ award for being such a good little girl for the doctor! Then you can explain what happened.*

I really, really hope you spend your last days in that crooked nursing home Homer saw on 60 Minutes.

Anyway, to answer Carol the Impaler and KayT, here’s a link.

He also says no parent has ever reported bad results from this. Maybe. Maybe he disregards such messages, claiming the parents didn’t do it right. Or perhaps his followers are afraid to disagree with him because they don’t want to get sent to their rooms for a month. He also says no real doctor has ever told him this method is wrong. But he could be disregarding them as well. Or perhaps real MDs don’t know or care about him.

Mommy, who the fuck is John Rosemond?

Here you go.

I have always found his advice abhorrent. Excellent pitting.

Carried over from this thread. More guides to dysfunction here.

Wow – I’d never heard of this guy but after reading a few columns, he appears to be a real jerk. The column about the aquarium is especially awful to me because I suffered from extreme acrophobia as a child (like, terrified of being on the third floor of a building if there were big windows – which there were in a long third floor hallway in my school) and though I still have a more extreme fear of heights than most people with the phobia have (I’m scared of heights on an airplane, for instance, which I gather is unusual) it is a lot less extreme than it used to be – because I grew out of it, not because adults refused to be kind to me and treated my fear as attention-seeking.

I was so confused in that thread! I’d never known you to be someone with such disregard for kids and their emotional/developmental needs, so when you first linked i was all :confused:.
I’d not heard of this so-called expert, either, so now I’m all :frowning: and :mad:.

Right, meenie: if a parent notices their kid, the child is indulging in attention-seeking behavior. Everything a kid does, at any time, is either attention-seeking or just plain bad. He’s said so in those exact words. “All children are bad.” And if someone dares to disagree with him, even as mildly as “Hey, that’s harsh,” then clearly they believe children should have no rules or discipline at all. You’re either with him or agin’ him.

lorene, I’ve been toying with the idea of Pitting this clown for some time. What stopped me before was that I thought he wasn’t worth the time and effort. But in the past week, one thread after another brought him to my mind. And I started posting, and I followed up on those posts, and here I am.

I feel a whole lot better after that OP, and after this post, composed while y’all were reading and replying.

It’s not just that he recommends being strict. A parent can be strict without showing the utter contempt for children that the parents in his fictional scenarios ooze with. His supposed case histories focus mainly on the parents’ glee at frustrating their children. The kids/teens are always shown to have the function of a two y/o, even if they’re as old as seventeen. Stimulus/response, stimulus/response, until their spirit is broken and they give up free will. He recommends an attitude that might be appropriate for a teacher or athletic coach, someone who has no emotional investment in the child, or the child in them. But it’s frightening to think of living with someone who says “That’s how I know I’m doing the right thing,” in response to “You’re making me cry” or “I can’t stand this.”

One of his catchphrases is “Nip it in the bud.” Which means employ the nuclear option for the first offense. Like his guide for “Piling On”. The funny thing is, I’d think a modified version of this would be okay under certain circumstances. Like if it’s the tenth time in three days that the kid has mouthed off, or if they’ve said worse, and a lot more, than “jerk” in a long rant. But even in that case, I would state upfront that he would be in limbo until I started to see some improvement. “You said you were sorry this morning, and yesterday, and the day before. You’re obviously not taking me seriously, so sorry is no longer enough.” But I would also take him seriously. I would not have the petty, borderline bratty attitude that the mom in the example has. If you don’t want your kid to hold grudges, don’t do it yourself. And after he’s rolled over and shown his belly, let it go. “Until you stop saying it’s unfair” is not too far removed from “He loved Big Brother.”

And Barney Fife always used to say “Nip it in the bud.” Would anyone want to sound like him? I guess if you have “common sense” – another of Rosey’s catchphrases.

Hated the fucker for about 20 years. Jerk.

What the fucking fuck? :confused:

Oh that buttmunch. They run his column in one of our local papers. I’m always like, WTF? Who lets this guy even near kids?

Somehow never heard of him. So Dr. Phil meets James Dobson, more or less?

The best part of that is where he says something like, “Tell your child, ‘I give you permission to close your eyes when you’re standing in front of the shark tank.’” In Rosemondland, your child literally requires your permission to close her eyes. That’s all kinds of awesome.

I do think a related approach is appropriate, however. If my kid had a similar phobia, I think I’d say something like, “Look, I understand you’re frightened of the sharks. I’ve got a phobia, too, and I know dealing with it can be hard. I’ve got three concerns, though. First, I’d like you at some point to work on finding your way past the phobia, and I’m ready to help you do that when you’re ready. Second, it’s both the law and it’s a good idea for you to go to school and to learn while you’re there. Third, I don’t want you to inconvenience your teacher, your classmates, or anyone else at the school: your phobia is a real problem, but it’s yours to deal with, not theirs. So let’s talk about creative solutions to your problem that also meet my concerns.”

At that point, let the kid take the lead. Do they want to stay in another class and miss the field trip, and make up the educational work by writing a report? Do they want to go on the trip and close their eyes? Do they want to see if they can take a bathroom break while others are going to the shark exhibit? If the kid suggests something workable, go for it.

Vinyl Turnip: Yes, he’s all the worst qualities of both those guys, and more.

Guin: I don’t think anyone does let him near kids. He travels the country giving talks to parents, and only parents, about how they should run their families. The parents are instructed to go home, storm into the house and declare, “Okay, kids, it’s over! Your lives will never be the same again!” That is not a paraphrase; that is exactly what he tells them to say.

So no, he doesn’t work with kids. He talks about how a family should function, but he addresses only the parents. He doesn’t need to see, hear or interact with their children, because all children are the same, and one size of discipline fits all. Every kid’s spirit can be broken eventually, and that should be the parents’ goal. I can’t see him ever chairing a conference for parents and children, because so much of his philosophy depends on mind-fucking the kid. The phantom “doctor”, for instance. Telling the kid you’ll listen to him, then only pretending to listen because you’ve already decided never to back down. Telling the kid on Saturday that he is now on punishment for something he did on Tuesday, that hasn’t been mentioned once in the interim. It all hinges on parents manipulating their children, and that falls apart if you let the kids participate.

And Left Hand, that’s why he would dismiss your post with one of his Monty Burns epithets. “Balderdash! Poppycock! Nonsense, psychobabble, blather!” Again, direct quote. A lot of his columns start out as (alleged) responses to suggestions like yours, in fact.

A victim of liberal psychobabble wrote back and suggested that the shark-phobic boy’s parents let him choose between going on the field trip, or staying home and writing a report! What poppycock! Next you’ll be letting the child decide on his own bedtime, and whether or not to do his homework! You cannot let your child run your family. You, the parent, are in charge. This wimpy parent actually said ‘Let the kid take the lead.’ Sir/madam, I fear for you when your child is 16. Will you ‘let the kid take the lead’ in deciding whether or not he will drink or take drugs, or drop out of school? I think not!

I’m not kidding. He constantly rails against the idea of children having any agency in how they live their lives. What I think is, it’s a very insecure person who is so afraid of the idea of not having absolute power. True leaders don’t have to intimidate.

Your parenting strategy is to bore your kid into submission? Midway through the litany of concerns I’d be begging to be spanked instead.

My father, for all his many faults, at least never addressed me like some director of familial human resources.

Come on, that was very wordy, but the kid was expressing a fear, not waiting for punishment. Scared kids don’t mind some talk from their parents.

A three-part explanation to a little kid is freakish and hilarious, but hollering and screaming–which would have been my father’s tack–does absolutely nothing but augment the problem with fear of self-disclosure.

I remember once when I was in 7th grade, a rep from the local zoo came to visit our school. Our principal, who knew how phobic I am when it comes to snakes, found out they were bringing some snakes, so she came and asked if I wanted to come and help out with filing papers in the office.

I’d like to see this guy give his little spiel to a nun. :wink:

(Seriously, when I was in 2nd grade, I chose to fail a lesson rather than read an article with pictures of snakes. “Close my eyes?” Pfft)

Ha! A friend of mine claims that her parents lectured her so incessantly after transgressions that she asked them, “Can’t you just hit me like everyone else’s parents?”

i really dislike apologists for bullying. I’ve disliked Jeremy Clarkson since I read a column of his practically advocating for it. I recall he used the phrase “character building”.

Anyway, exposure therapy has been demonstrably effective in treating phobias: when conducted by a professional, not imposed by parents on the advice of a columnist.